Why I vote with a dollar
As we brainstorm topics for this newsletter week after week, spreading the "Shop Local" message is always at the top of our list, especially this time of year. The phrase "Shop Local" is so overused that I actually hesitate to even write it. I know you hear it all the time, making it easy to tune out. You already know you shouldshop local, but do you?
Even though you know you should be shopping local, I know that nearly all of you are driving down I-80 to do at least a portion of your shopping. So rather than lecture your the umpteenth time, I'm instead going to share why I personally shop local.
1. To Improve The Local Economy
Why should I expect our community to grow if I don't support it? I want Grinnell to be healthy and to grow, and I view each dollar I spend locally as my pledge to support the Grinnell economy. Spending my money here helps local businesses keep their doors open, pay their employees, and donate to charities and community projects. I really want Grinnell to be a community that thrives, not one that declines over time. That's all possible, but I know it takes me supporting Grinnell businesses.
2. For A Better Shopping Experience
I would love to see more shops here in Grinnell. When new businesses look at locating in a community, they evaluate the health of the existing ones. I shop at our existing stores because I really want them to thrive, and I also want them to gush about their successful business when prospective entrepreneurs ask them about owning a store here. I want our existing stores to all be here in 20 years, right alongside many new ones. With each dollar I spend locally, I'm voting for those businesses to be here when I walk down Main Street in 20 years.
3. For A Strong Community
20 years from now, I hope Grinnell still has its character. I want all of our independent businesses to be thriving, because they are a huge part of what makes this place unique, original, and charming. I hope to see that our historic buildings have been cared for, and that our sidewalks and streets are busier than ever. In 20 years, I hope Grinnell is known as a must-visit destination in Iowa. We will never establish this city as a well-known destination for travelers, new residents, or new business ventures without a strong backbone of thriving local businesses.
Those are three big reasons why I spend my money locally. What would you add to this list?
Speaking of supporting local businesses, tomorrow night is the perfect opportunity to do so. Many of our local retailers, service businesses and organizations have festive fun planned for you tomorrow night during Jingle Bell Holiday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. I hope to see you and your family then!
~ Emily Counts